Special Report: The Future of Lighting

As incandescent light bulbs fade from use, LEDs and compact fluorescents vie to replace them

The venerable incandescent lightbulb is on its way out, thanks to a revolution in lighting technology. IEEE Spectrum has chronicled the rise of compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs, as engineers have struggled to improve on Edison’s original invention
MULTIMEDIA
 
putting new bulbs to the test   last hurrah
Leaving the Lights On

AUDIO SLIDESHOW: Take a tour through a testing center that studies CFLs, LEDs, and human health
  Last Hurrah for Banned Bulbs

AUDIO SLIDE SHOW: A little shop in New York City celebrates the glory of the lightbulb in the waning days of incandescence
 
maker faire 2008   everything is illuminated
Maker Faire 2008: Smart LEDs

VIDEO: These little RGB LEDs each have their own microcontroller for complete control
  Everything is Illuminated

SLIDESHOW: United Visual Artists is a London-based group of engineers, artists, and designers who create technologically sophisticated light displays
 

     
FEATURES
 
photo of incandescent
Requiem for the Incandescent Lightbulb

A look back at a century of light

requiem
Deutschland Devours the Last of Its 100-Watt Incandescent Bulbs

Reports of hoarding on eve of European ban on some incandescents
 
kamens house photo   Empire Off the Grid
AUGUST 2009
Dean Kamen is turning his private island into a proof of concept for zero-net energy
 
the LEDs dark secret   The LED's Dark Secret
AUGUST 2009
Solid-state lighting won’t supplant the lightbulb until it can overcome the mysterious malady known as “droop”
 
rock show gets the LED out   A Rock Show Gets the LED Out
JANUARY 2009
Stadium acts like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead are trading pyrotechnics and JumboTrons for LEDs and software
 
light from silicon   Light from Silicon
OCTOBER 2005
For decades, silicon was a semiconducting dim bulb, but now we can make it into LEDs that match the best made from more exotic materials
 
lighting up andes   Lighting Up the Andes
DECEMBER 2004
A Canadian couple is lighting up remote villages in Bolivia using white LEDs, solar panels, and a little help from their friends
 
let there be light   Let There Be Light
SEPTEMBER 2002
And let it come from cool, clear semiconductors rather than fragile, white-hot filaments
 

     
THE ILLUMINATA
 
jim benya the illuminator
Jim Benya: The Illuminator

Jim Benya found his niche as a cutting-edge lighting designer by following his environmentalist conscience
 
ash nehru   Ash Nehru: Everything Is Illuminated
FEBRUARY 2008
Ash Nehru writes software code that drives intricate interactive lighting displays, redefining the way people view art
 
tales of nakamura   Tales of Nakamura
MAY 2007
Bright lights, piles of cash, courtroom drama, and a lone inventor
 
fritz morgan   Fritz Morgan: LEDs Into Gold
FEBRUARY 2005
When a Broadway show or an office building in Hong Kong needs a dazzling light display, who ya gonna call?
   

     
MORE STORIES
     
racetrack   Organic LEDs Head to the Racetrack
JUNE 2010
BLOG POST: One car in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, in France, will be sporting a new kind of sponsor logo
  junji kido of yamagata univ   Let There Be (a New Kind of) Light
JULY 2007
ARTICLE: Organic LEDs seem set to transform the business of bulbs
 
quantum dots   Quantum Dots Enhance LED Lighting
DECEMBER 2009
ARTICLE: Tiny semiconductor crystals could produce better colors for lighting and computer displays
  beetle   LEDs Could Borrow From Beetles
JUNE 2007
ARTICLE: The whitest white in nature belongs to an insect, and it has lessons for lighting
 
bright future   The Future’s So Bright
AUGUST 2009
ARTICLE: A flashlight made from high-output LEDs is not for the fainthearted
  butterfly   Butterfly Effect
FEBRUARY 2006
ARTICLE: Sophisticated method of manipulating light is discovered in Princeps nireus
 
cheaper led   Cheaper LEDs Possible by Growing Gallium Nitride on Silicon
AUGUST 2008
ARTICLE: Engineers take a step toward cheaper solid-state lighting
  better bulb   A Better Light Bulb?
FEBRUARY 2005
ARTICLE: A titanium dioxide coating gives this lightbulb the power to eat germs and odors
 
carbon   Selling Lighting by the Metric Ton of Carbon
AUGUST 2007
ARTICLE: LED lighting outfit thinks builders will be turned on by greenhouse-gas reduction more than by wattage savings